A Companion to African-American Philosophy by Tommy L. Lott

By Tommy L. Lott

This wide-ranging, multidisciplinary number of newly commissioned articles brings jointly special voices within the box of Africana philosophy and African-American social and political thought.Provides a entire severe survey of African-American philosophical idea. Collects wide-ranging, multidisciplinary, newly commissioned articles in a single authoritative quantity. Serves as a benchmark paintings of reference for classes in philosophy, social and political notion, cultural reports, and African-American reviews.

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25 CORNEL WEST This simple, but profound message of personal and communal struggle voices the wisdom of Afro-American folklore, blues and jazz. It guides the con life of Sterling Brown’s Slim Greer in Southern Road (1932) and the tenuous and ultimately tragic plight of Zora Neale Hurston’s Janie in Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937). The Afro-American humanist tradition reaches its literary apex in the writings of Ralph Ellison. He stands out among Afro-American humanists, and all Afro-American artists of the other traditions, not only because of the superb mastery of his craft and the acuteness of his mind, but also because he takes the Afro-American art-forms of the past with more intellectual seriousness than other Afro-American artists.

In my replies to the skeptics, I asked them if slaves did not wonder about freedom, suffer anguish, paradoxes of responsibility, concerns of agency, tremors of broken sociality, and a burning desire for liberation. Do we not find struggles with these matters in traditional West African proverbs and folktales that these slaves had brought with them to the New World? And more, even if we do not turn to the historical experiences of slaves of African descent and the body of cultural resources indigenous to the African continent, there are also the various dialogical encounters between twentiethcentury African-American theorists and European and Euro-American theorists.

They feel no need to be either superior to whites or marginal to Afro-American culture. They seem to consider themselves relatively secure with their heritage, as well as those of other groups or nations. The first major literary expression of Afro-American humanism is found in Jean Toomer’s still insufficiently studied Cane (1923). This work is a search for AfroAmerican humanity in the alluring, beautiful and burdensome black culture of the South. This unconventional collage of poignant stories and poems is a gem, a relatively untapped treasure that yields deep insights into Afro-American culture.

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